Title: "Suddenly Certain"

Epilogue: Eternal Choices

Summary: Adrian makes a decision that will change his life forever. But would it be a turn for the worse, or for the better side of things? Will he actually go through with it?

This is the final chapter... I think I might have another story in the brewing, but it might take a while. I'm going to finish all chapters for I actually post them. . . That way, the updates will be posted periodically instead of unpredictably. Well, I hope you've enjoyed this fiction as much as I have. Oh, and by the way, this chapter is in Adrian's point-of-view. There will be some flashbacks, but all of them will be in third-person perspective.

. . .And so it ends. . .

It has been four months since the terrible encounter with my betrayed friend Crystal. If I could take everything back, and start anew I would grasp that opportunity with both hands; but that's so cliched that of course it will not happen. . . But, that, of course, is just my fortune, isn't it?

As I gather my personal possessions, I reminisce once again upon the many happy memories that we've shared. . .tears fabricate their own paths down my face, leaving damp trails in their wake. I could actually remember a time when I was happy, when all was in normalcy as it should be, when everything was in place and functioning properly. . . But, at the present time, it doesn't seem possible, not at all.

***

Adrian smiled cheekily and placed down his hand of five cards. His lips spread into a wider grin as he reached for the pile of one dollar bills, and the ever-many pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters; but he was readily stopped as Crystal lightly swatted his hand and she cracked a big enough smile to rival Adrian's.

She laid down her set of cards, and sure enough, they both burst into fits of laughter. She had won - by a long shot. She grabbed for the pile of money, and shoved it all into her little black hand-bag. But she gently placed a penny upside down on the mat in front of Adrian: a typical sign of bad service at a restaurant.

"Bad game," she managed to choke out between giggles.

Adrian just shook his head at her, and continued to laugh, clutching at his sides. "Beginning to get greedy, are we?" He snatched towards the bag, but her hand stopped him, and warmth shot through his whole arm, sending all kinds of chaotic butterflies to his stomach. He shook it off as new peals of Crystal's laughter reached his ears.

***

I stood from my bed, and walked to the sitting room towards the box of tissues my family always kept handy; or rather, my mother always kept ready for herself when she needed them. I wiped my eyes gingerly, swallowed with difficulty, and broke down again. 'What have I done? Oh Lord, what have I done?'

I sniffed, and got up to continue my already begun packing. As I was putting away a pair of socks, a thought occurred to me: 'Do I really feel this way?'

***

The two of them still chatted animatedly throughout the entire film, every scene was touched by a completely different topic, ranging from religion, politics (which was ended quite abruptly by Crystal saying, "I don't really like this discussion." It seemed to end it nicely), music, art, literature and most of all life in general.

Crystal got up as the last scene unfolded and faded away and traipsed to the kitchen to put away the popcorn bowl. When she was rinsing out the kernels that didn't popped, a strong pair of arms wrapped their way around her waist. Another smile spread across her face as she was hugged closely by Adrian.

"What would I do without you?" Adrian chuckled. He remembered that Crystal was still getting over her bout of depression, still a quiet and subdued girl, but she was slowly getting better. He remembered that the psychologist he visited on behalf of Crystal told him that she needed all the love and encouragement she could get in the next few months to fully recover from her terrible plight.

She giggled lightly, replying: "Well, you'd probably just live on without knowing that such a wonderful girl existed like me."

Adrian gasped loudly and backed away slightly, "Oh, Lord! That'd be absolutely. . ." He paused for effect, ". . .great!"

A resounding smack was issued into the air as Crystal slapped him on his chest. "Hey! What was that for?"

Her face was the epitome of poutiness. Her lower lip was stuck out with genuine hurt disbelief, and her eyes were adjusted into total puppy eyes that made Adrian melt. She sniffled. "You hurt my feelings." She turned on her faux Southern accent. This told him that she was just kidding, and that she knew he was too. He inwardly sighed, relieved.

He maneuvered himself behind her, and placed one arm behind her knees and the other behind her shoulders, all to pick her up bridal style. He carried her towards the sitting room once again.

Once Crystal was over her giggling fit, she said, "What do you think you're doing? Put me down, this instant!" Adrian was now in front of the sofa and happily obliged. "Whoa!"

Adrian jumped on the couch after her, and straddled her waist, positioning his hands gently on her sides. Crystal looked up at him with a flustered expression on her face. But his plan became clear as she started bursting out with guffaws and laughs and giggles when he tickled her. They soon tumbled off the sofa, and changed positions, and Crystal became the tickler instead of Adrian.

But something made her stop and just look at him. She was sprawled comfortably on top of him and their eyes were locked onto each other.

Adrian knew. . .in that moment, that he loved her. Even if the feelings weren't mutual, returned or anything, that he wouldn't be able to live life right without her.

He rose up slightly, and started to close the distance. If her reaction was anything like he believed it to be, then he would know that she would never feel the same. Her face got closer to his and suddenly she choked, and laughed nervously. She slapped him playfully on the arms and got up.

"I have to finish washing that bowl." She chuckled again, and ambled to the kitchen again. 'That was close,' she thought to herself.

"Thought as much," he mumbled under her breath. "Of course you do; I'll be in there in a bit."

***

I smiled at this memory and ran a finger over Crystal's face in her picture of his. Another tear trickled its way down my face to splash softly on the glass and frame of the photo. I sighed and slid the photograph of her out and placed it beside the 'Old-Tyme,' black and white picture of my mother. It was taken when the two of us took Crystal to Six Flags for her first time in any amusement park.

Crystal had had the time of her life. She had told me so afterwards. We eventually got to the arcade part of the park, and I won her a large blue teddy bear in the basketball game. She laughed when I said, "This belongs to you, my dear lady," in my fake British accent. She then proceeded to throw it at me and jump on my back for a piggy-back ride.

"Of course I feel this way. I always have." I truly loved Crystal. . .but seeing as how it will never work out, even as us being as friends. . . . I just can't stand to see her and not be with her in any way, shape or form.

***

Time has passed, it's actually two months after graduation. I've made a decision that will totally erase me from Crystal's life. She'll never hear from or see me again. I hope she'll be happy and find someone who will make her happy as she's made me.

I've thought about, prayed on it, slept on it, and paced a hole in my living room carpet from deciding whether or not I've made the right choice. There were many different paths I could have taken, many different scenarios and situations that would have made sense also. But the best one lead to this. . . .

Crystal was my best friend. Heck, she was my only friend. She was the one who tried to save me from my Darkness, but I could see past my stupid self-pity. I was so wrapped up in my depressed emotions that I couldn't climb out of the hole inside myself that I dug so deep. She was the one who could help me, get me back to health.

She was there when I lost my parents; she was there when I was trying to get through that; she was there when I pushed her away and tried to commit suicide; she was there when I was in the hospital recovering.

But she wasn't there after I recovered. . . .

. . .I am going to leave the country.

***

Crystal was brushing her hair out from swimming at the apartment pool when the doorbell rang twice in a row. "Dang. I really need to get that fixed." She gently placed down her brush, as it was her only gift from her late grandmother.

"Adrian!" She gasped as she opened the door to find him standing there. "What are you doing here?" She stepped aside to let him in; it was scorching outside. She might have wished him to not be there at all, but it wasn't as if she was going to be totally rude about it. She still had those memories of what they had been through together.

"I came here to do what you did half a year ago." Adrian said this in the same type of monotone that Crystal had used six months ago. He wasn't letting any emotion show through. . . He had gotten this far, he wasn't going to break down now. He strolled inside, clutching a large yellow envelope to his chest as a baby would her favorite teddy bear. "It seems as though you've had no trouble throwing away all that we've done together. What we've gotten past."

Crystal looked away at this. It was true that it seemed as if she had forgotten about everything, thrown away all the memories. She had gotten new friends, and hung out with them every chance she got. And didn't look as though these were the nicest crowd of people that you could hang out with. It was rumored that they took drugs every chance they got; always shooting whatever up, or smoking whatever out. . . . It made Adrian sick whenever he saw Crystal with them. They were true drug fiends.

Crystal had made it hard on Adrian; she gave everything she had into making him miserable without actually having social contact with him. . . Which actually made everything worse.

***

It was his first day back at school, and Adrian was as nervous as he was when he was five, going to the doctor's for his first and painful tetanus and diphtheria shot. He was hoping that if he just walked up to Crystal that this whole mess would be cleared up. He was trying really hard to convince himself that this would actually work, but he was of course failing miserably.

He finally found her at her locker reaching in and extracting her history books. She nearly dropped them when she closed her locker door to find Adrian standing behind it. He found his voice and spoke up: "Crystal?" He swallowed hard, and tried to continue. "I'm really sorry. I was just. . ."

She just shook her head, held up a hand interrupted. "I don't need an explanation." She kneeled down to pick them up, stood up, and proceeded to walk off.

". . .Crystal. . ."

"What I need is for you to leave me alone."

~*~

Every time Crystal and Adrian passed each other in the hall, he would smile feebly and once again get his heart broken. She would walk by either completely ignoring his presence there, and his existence all together or giving him a look that could freeze Hell over.

She obviously didn't care for him anymore, so he just decided to try his hardest and get over it. Move on with his life, get to the better things so that they could both heal from horrible ordeal.

So. . . That's what Adrian progressed to do. He started to just be cold-hearted to Crystal right back. He began series of ignoring her, smiling icily back whenever she did, glaring daggers at her while she was with her new friends.

. . . . And of course, it all ended within the first five minutes he initiated the strategy.

***

Adrian walked over to the couch and sat down with a very somber, silenced air about him. He placed the envelope on the coffee table hat was positioned right in front of him. "I want you to read this when I'm gone."

Crystal didn't get the gist of how he worded his sentence until long after he closed the door. "Okay. . . So you're not staying long?" She really wanted him out of there, but she just didn't want to kick him out like he was some vagrant or odd philanderer.

"No, I'm not. I only wanted to give you this." He stared at her with a blank look on his face. She didn't know what to say to this. She just looked away, she didn't like the way he was looking at her.

He slowly got up and ambled to the front door. "I just came to say goodbye."

Crystal had a very bemused look on her face when she sat back down on her sofa, and picked up the mailer.

"My Dearest Crystal,

You're reading this letter only because I will no longer be in your life, within your reach. You'll never have to contact me again after you read this letter. I have made a decision that will tear my page out of your book of life. You'll be able to get on with our life without having to hassle with a migraine like me. You can become happy once again; never having to worry that I'll be trying to get you back in my life.



If you're reading this, then I've gone on with my career, gone farther with my education. I'm moving to England to go to a private college, then on to graduate school: Oxford University. I'm going to try and become an attorney, then a justice. I'm not sure if I shall come back the United States to preside, or just stay in the English Parliament. But that will be another choice for the future.

I just wanted you to know one thing about me. I have known since day one that we met that I love you from the bottom of my heart. Completely and truly is the love that I feel for you. It breaks every time I look at you, and I know that I'll never be able to hold you in my arms. Not even as a strictly platonic embrace. I'll never again be able to provide for you the shoulder to cry on, the comfort you might need when you feel depressed. I'll never be able to whisper sweet nothings in your ear during our dates, never be able to kiss your tears away, and come home to you after a long, hard day and find happiness in your arms. I love you. I always have, and that will never change.

I also wanted to apologize for putting you through this turmoil. I never wanted to hurt you like I did. I was only thinking of myself. I couldn't see past my self-pity. If you could find it in your heart to forgive me, I could rest in peace, even though I would never know. Please, I. . .just couldn't get past the fact that I thought I was all alone in this world. That nobody could be trusted, nobody truly loved me. But you were there. You were always there. From the beginning to the end. And the end was when I woke up. . . .

I'm leaving tonight. My plane is at six o'clock this evening. I shall bid you goodbye, Crystal. I love you so much.

The Best Wishes For You,

Adrian

When Crystal was finished reading, tears were crawling down her face. She couldn't believe what she had just read. Was it true that he had just proclaimed his love for her? In writing? As she skimmed over the letter again, she could tell the ink was splotched in places, as if he was crying while he wrote it.

She had to get going. It was already 5:30. She had somewhere to be. . .

***

I placed my luggage down, and sat down myself. I was completely bushed. Packing all my belongings could be ceaselessly tiring. All though it wasn't much, but organizing it all and trying to find a spot that it could be packed easily and practically so that it wouldn't break was another hassle in of itself. I couldn't believe what kind of work was involved. It seemed utterly impossible. . .

Okay, I'm rambling. But, hey, I think that I've earned that right. I am exhausted.

I decide to get up and find a vending machine. I really need some coffee. It might help to perk me up. As I stand up I notice that my shoes are untied. As I'm following the bunny through the burrow, I hear footsteps trekking towards me. I study them and find that they are very familiar. They're an old pair of Nike or Reebok or New Balance that I remember lending out at least a year ago. They had a small hole in the toe and socks were peeking out. "Crystal?" I said before rising to tower a ways above her.

"That's it, then?" She gave me a very hurt look that just broke my heart again.

"What are you talking about?"

"That's all you're going to say before you leave? You're going to put it in writing that you love me, and then flee the country?" She broke out in a grin. "Do you think I'm going to put upon you my wrath for saying something like that?"

I didn't return the smile, and felt tears build up in my eyes. "Do you know how much I hurt you? How much you hurt me for revenge? How every time I passed you in the hallway that my heart broke, knowing you hated me with every fiber in your being? How when you looked at me it was as if you never wanted me to be brought onto this earth, that I should just go and bury myself?" I turned away, unable to look at her any longer. And I didn't want her to see my cry again. For the umpteenth time.

I felt her arms encircle me for an embrace, and pull me close to the warmth of her body. "I love you, too, Adrian."

She turned me around and brought her face close enough to where our noses were brushing against each other. "I love you, Adrian." She brought her lips and closed the distance between hers and mine. She started to slowly caress my lips with hers.

It was as though something bright, warm and just utterly wonderful exploded in the pit of my stomach, and spread throughout my entire body until the tips of my toes and my fingers were tingling with excitement. My heart was bursting with renewed love, both mine for her and hers for me.

***

"I need to tell you something." Adrian watched as Crystal came out of the shower with a towel around her. "I'm still going to England next week." He bit his lip, waiting for her reaction.

"That's nice. I suppose I'll have to start packing then." She smiled widely as Adrian dropped his jaw.

"You're going to come with me?"

"Do you really think that I'm going to let you go from my sight when you just might travel and fall for some smarmy French brat?"

Adrian chuckled, and brought her in for another knee-buckling kiss.

***

I hope you have enjoyed this as much as I have. It's been a nice adventure for me, and I absolutely loved writing if you all out there, as well as for myself. You see I didn't have all this planned out as usual, I just typed as it came to me. Therefore, reason for the many post/update delays. Sorry about that. n.n;; Hope you forgive me. Well, send in a review. I'll very much appreciate. If you want to e-mail me, you can find it in my buddy list. Love in Christ, Tj